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U-19 CWC: It's surreal; doesn't feel real, says Raghuvanshi on batting performance

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Tarouba (Trinidad), Jan 24 (IANS) Indian Under-19 cricketer Angkrish Raghuvanshi has said that he is still soaking in the landmark achievement of securing a double-century partnership with Raj Bawa in their U-19 ICC Cricket World Cup Group B match against Uganda at the Brian Lara Stadium.

Thanks to a fine 144 from Raghuvanshi and a belligerent unbeaten 162 from senior partner Bawa, India notched up 405/5 against Uganda, which was their second-highest score in the history of the tournament, and helped them win their last group competition by a whopping 326 runs on January 22.

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India will now take on defending champions Bangladesh in the quarterfinal on January 29.

“It’s surreal. It doesn’t feel real, especially when you do it with a very close friend (Bawa). It felt very comfortable with him on the ground. He never made me feel uneasy. It felt like there was no pressure. Felt like we were batting at the nets, so it feels amazing,” said the Raghuvanshi in a video posted by the International Cricket Council (ICC) on Monday.

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Bawa said, the fact they were room-mates and close friends helped the duo forge a fruitful partnership.

“It was a good experience. I got a chance to bat with my room-mate and that also was very helpful. I was able to settle down easily at the crease. My favourite moment was when our partnership reached 200 runs,” said Bawa, whose unbeaten 108-ball knock was embellished with 14 boundaries and eight sixes.

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He said that three emphatic wins in the group phase had given the team the momentum to go into the Super League quarterfinal match against Bangladesh with a positive frame of mind. “As a team we have got a good momentum. Going forward we have the knockouts, we have to carry that momentum. We are all very positive and hope for the best,” said Bawa.

Bawa has also been effective with the ball, taking wickets with his right-arm medium pace. The 19-year-old said he hadn’t yet decided whether he wants to be a batter or a bowler.

“I’m still looking for an answer to that question. I like both, I don’t have any preferences,” said Bawa, who hails from Nahan in Himachal Pradesh.

Delhi boy Raghuvanshi whose 144 came off 120 balls said the secret of their success was that they don’t really speak too much about cricket except for when they are on the ground.

“We don’t really speak too much about cricket; in our room we turn off (from cricket), we chill and have fun. I think that is the secret of our success,” said Raghuvanshi, adding that his teammates always try to make him comfortable knowing that he is one of the youngest in the team.

“They make me very comfortable. Well it doesn’t feel I’m the youngest… we are all very close friends and that shows on the field as well,” said Raghuvanshi, adding that India winning all their group games was down to the fact that the players play without any pressure.

“Yeah, we don’t like to take too much pressure on ourselves… we just think it is a normal game. Try to express ourselves like the way we’ve practiced in our entire lives. We just try to do that on the field and its working for us (Bawa and him).

–IANS

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